The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Banneton recipes?

jkhs's picture

Banneton recipes?

I'm just back to an old hobby of bread baking and am just becoming aware of the use of bannetons.    What I'm wondering is; can they be used with most bread recipes or are there special recipes for them?      If so,   are there any banneton-use cookbooks out there?

MisterTT's picture

There's no need for special recipes - you can use a proofing basket (banetton) with pretty much any dough. Banettons are used to get a good, regular shape of the finished product. When you put the shaped loaf (usually seam-side up) into the banetton for proofing, it does not spread and flatten out. Also, it is quite convenient to just uppend the banneton onto the peel or baking sheet, score it and put it in the oven.

Having banettons is not strictly a necessity - if you like boules (round loaves), you can easily make an improvised banetton with some linen cloth and a bowl, just be sure to flour the linen cloth liberally (rice flour works best). That said, probably the cheapest and most flexible proofing technique is to use a couche (heavy-duty linen cloth). You can read dmsnyder's wonderful post about how to do it here:

hanseata's picture

I use my brotformen and bannetons mainly for the aesthetics. As MisterTT says, spreading and flattening of a soft dough you can also prevent with cheap solutions, like a kitchen towl lined colander or basket from a Dollar Store. Coiled brotformen give breads an especially attractive "striped" pattern.

Loaves with a fairly stiff dough (whole grains, seeds) don't really need a rising basket, I proof those usually directly on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Though I have a couche, too, I don't use it very often. My baguettes (very high hydration dough)  I rather proof on the perforated baguette pans, so that I don't have to move them more than necessary. And I would not use my couche for round loaves, either.